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Fancy buying yourself a 4x4 this winter? Well, you're going to have to pay a premium.

Predictions of a bitterly cold winter are pushing up prices of 4x4 vehicles says auction firm BCA.

The company has released new data showing that 4x4 values rose sharply in October, climbing by 16 per cent as the first signs of winter appeared.

Average 4x4 values rose to over £13,000 last month, a rise of £1,838 compared to September and well ahead of values recorded throughout the spring and summer months.

Tim Naylor from BCA suggests now would be a good time to buy for anyone in the market for a 4x4, as prices may well rise further if the more severe conditions indicated by the Met Office take hold.

"There is a well charted trend between falling temperatures and rising values for 4x4s and we would expect to see that continue in the next few months," said Naylor.

"And the first hint of snow across the wider UK could create significant demand for 4x4s which will send values even higher.

"When it comes to choosing a 4x4, buyers should go for the best specification they can afford, as this will help the vehicle retain its value in the years ahead", Naylor added.

Alloys, leather interior, air-con and sat-nav are all desirable, while more "rugged" accessories such as mounted spotlights, running boards and winches can drive prices up too.

"But absolutely essential is ensuring the vehicle has a comprehensive up to date service history," he concluded. "It may have been no further off-road than up a suburban kerb, but a full service history from the supplying dealer gives that extra peace of mind."